Wow. What a difference a year makes.
Twelve months ago, we were all bracing ourselves for the inevitable…a Hall of Fame ceremony with no inductees.
And then it happened.
Now that all of last year’s “did he” or “didn’t he” or “when did he start” or whatever chatter is, seemingly, in our rearview mirror and the Jack Morris love/hate can go take a break until the Expansion Era ballot three years from now, we were able to focus on what will end up being a pretty crammed stage this July in Cooperstown.
It was announced Wednesday that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas will be joining the already announced trio of Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre as part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2014. Also hearing his name introduced to what should be a packed house on July 27…Ford C. Frick Award winner Eric Nadel and The J.G. Taylor Spink Award recipient Roger Angell.
Maddux and his 355 victories four Cy Young Awards collected 555 votes (good for 97.2%), appearing on all but 16 of the ballots cast. Pretty convincing numbers when you consider no one has ever gone in unanimously. The two guys that got the closest to being named on 100% of the ballots? Tom Seaver (elected in 1992) and Nolan Ryan (1999). Both of them got in with 98.8% of the vote, but get this…in the process they were both left off a combined 11 ballots.
The travesty this year? Houston Astros legend Craig Biggio fell two (TWO!) votes short of induction.
Here’s the break down among the top vote-getters.
Greg Maddux (97.2%, first time on ballot)
Tom Glavine (91.9%, first time on ballot)
Frank Thomas (83.7%, first time on ballot)
Craig Biggio (74.8%, 68.2% last year)
Mike Piazza (62.2%, 57.8%)
Jack Morris (61.5%, 67.7%)
Jeff Bagwell (54.3%, 59.6%)
Tim Raines (46.1%, 52.2%)
Roger Clemens (35.4%, 37.6%)
Barry Bonds (34.7%, 36.2%)
Lee Smith (29.9%, 47.8%)
Curt Schilling (29.2%, 38.8%)
Mike Mussina (20.3%, first time on ballot)
Edgar Martinez (25.2%, 35.9%)
Alan Trammell (20.8%, 33.6%)
Jeff Kent (15.2%, first time on ballot)
To see how actual numbers stacked up against the much hyped 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot Collecting Gizmo…click HERE.
YOUR 2014 HALL OF FAME CLASS:
GREG MADDUX, 97.2%
First Year on Ballot
PLAYING CAREER: Chicago Cubs (1986-1992), Atlanta Braves (1993-2003), Chicago Cubs (2004-2006), Los Angeles Dodgers (2006), San Diego padres (2007-2008) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2008)
ACHIEVEMENTS: Career record of 355-227 (.610 winning percentage) with an ERA of 3.16 and 3371 strikeouts. Eighth all-time in wins. Only Warren Spahn has more victories (363) since the start of the post-1920, live-ball era. Only pitcher in Major League history to win at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons. First pitcher to win four consecutive National League Cy Young Awards (1992-1995). 18-time Gold Glove Award winner (1990–2002 and 2004–2008), eight-time National League All-Star (1988, 1992, 1994-1998 and 2000) and four-time National League ERA champion (1993-1995 and 1998). 1995 World Series champion. Number 31 retired by both Braves and Cubs.
TOM GLAVINE, 91.9%
First Year on Ballot
PLAYING CAREER: Atlanta Braves (1987-2002), New York Mets (2003-2007) and Atlanta Braves (2008)
ACHIEVEMENTS: Career record of 305-203 (.600 winning percentage) with an ERA of 3.54 and 2607 strikeouts. One of only six left-handed pitchers with more than 300 victories. Five 20-win seasons. 164 victories during the 1990s ranks second among National Leaguer pitchers. Two time National League Cy Young Awards (1991 and 1998). Ten-time National League All-Star (1991-1993, 1996-1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006). 1995 World Series champion and World Series MVP. Number 47 retired by Braves.
FRANK THOMAS, 83.7%
First Year on Ballot
PLAYING CAREER: Chicago White Sox (1990-2005), Oakland A’s (2006), Toronto Blue Jays (2007-2008) and Oakland A’s (2008)
ACHIEVEMENTS: Career batting average of .301 with 2468 hits, 495 doubles, 521 home runs, 1494 runs and 1704 RBI. Ranks 18th all-time in home runs and 22nd all-time in RBI. In 1997, became the only player in Major League history to have seven consecutive seasons (1991-1997) of a .300 average and at least 100 walks, 100 runs, 100 runs batted in and 20 home runs. Back-to-back American League MVP (1993-1994). Five-time American League All-Star (1993-1997). Four-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1991, 1993-1994, 2000). 1997 American League batting champ. Number 47 retired by White Sox.